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A narrative history of the unlikely Maoist rebellion that terrorized Peru even after the fall of global Communism.
On May 17, 1980, on the eve of Peru’s presidential election, five masked men stormed a small town in the Andean heartland. They set election ballots ablaze and vanished into the night, but not before planting a red hammer-and-sickle banner in the town square. The lone man arrested the next morning later swore allegiance to a group called Shining Path. The tale of how this ferocious group of guerrilla insurgents launched a decade-long reign of terror, and how brave police investigators and journalists brought it to justice, may be the most compelling chapter in modern Latin American history, but the full story has never been told.
Described by a U.S. State Department cable as “cold-blooded and bestial,” Shining Path orchestrated bombings, assassinations, and massacres across the cities, countryside, and jungles of Peru in a murderous campaign to seize power and impose a Communist government. At its helm was the professor-turned-revolutionary Abimael Guzmán, who launched his single-minded insurrection alongside two women: his charismatic young wife, Augusta La Torre, and the formidable Elena Iparraguirre, who married Guzmán soon after Augusta’s mysterious death. Their fanatical devotion to an outmoded and dogmatic ideology, and the military’s bloody response, led to the death of nearly 70,000 Peruvians.
Orin Starn and Miguel La Serna’s narrative history of Shining Path is both panoramic and intimate, set against the socioeconomic upheavals of Peru’s rocky transition from military dictatorship to elected democracy. They take readers deep into the heart of the rebellion, and the lives and country it nearly destroyed. We hear the voices of the mountain villagers who organized a fierce rural resistance, and meet the irrepressible black activist María Elena Moyano and the Nobel Prize–winning novelist Mario Vargas Llosa, who each fought to end the bloodshed. Deftly written, The Shining Path is an exquisitely detailed account of a little-remembered war that must never be forgotten.
Contributors. Anne Allison, James Clifford, Michael M.J. Fischer, Kim Fortun, Richard Handler, John L. Jackson, Jr., George E. Marcus, Charles Piot, Hugh Raffles, Danilyn Rutherford, Orin Starn, Kathleen Stewart, Michael Taussig, Kamala Visweswaran
The Alaska Native Reader describes indigenous worldviews, languages, arts, and other cultural traditions as well as contemporary efforts to preserve them. Several pieces examine Alaska Natives’ experiences of and resistance to Russian and American colonialism; some of these address land claims, self-determination, and sovereignty. Some essays discuss contemporary Alaska Native literature, indigenous philosophical and spiritual tenets, and the ways that Native peoples are represented in the media. Others take up such diverse topics as the use of digital technologies to document Native cultures, planning systems that have enabled indigenous communities to survive in the Arctic for thousands of years, and a project to accurately represent Dena’ina heritage in and around Anchorage. Fourteen of the volume’s many illustrations appear in color, including work by the contemporary artists Subhankar Banerjee, Perry Eaton, Erica Lord, and Larry McNeil.
From the mountains of California to a forgotten steel vat at the Smithsonian, this "eloquent and soul-searching book" (Lit) is "a compelling account of one of American anthropology's strangest, saddest chapters" (Archaeology).
After the Yahi were massacred in the mid-nineteenth century, Ishi survived alone for decades in the mountains of northern California, wearing skins and hunting with bow and arrow. His capture in 1911 made him a national sensation; anthropologist Alfred Kroeber declared him the world's most "uncivilized" man and made Ishi a living exhibit in his museum. Thousands came to see the displaced Indian before his death, of tuberculosis. Ishi's Brain follows Orin Starn's gripping quest for the remains of the last of the Yahi.
Drawing on fieldwork conducted over the course of a decade, Orin Starn chronicles the historical conditions that led to the formation of the rondas, the social and geographical expansion of the movement, and its gradual decline in the 1990s. Throughout this anecdotal yet deeply analytical account, the author relies on interviews with ronda participants, villagers, and Peru’s regional and national leaders to explore the role of women, the involvement of nongovernmental organizations, and struggles for leadership within the rondas. Starn moves easily from global to local contexts and from the fifteenth to the twentieth century, presenting this movement in a straightforward manner that makes it accessible to both specialists and nonspecialists.
An engagingly written story of village mobilization, Nightwatch is also a meditation on the nature of fieldwork, the representation of subaltern people, the relationship between resistance and power, and what it means to be politically active at the end of the century. It will appeal widely to scholars and students of anthropology, Latin American studies, cultural studies, history, subaltern studies, and those interested in the politics of social movements.
Peasants in India hugging trees to protest logging, Brazilian feminists marching to impeach a president, Okinawan television comedians joke-starting ethnic activity. All are instances of social protest that exist in the charged territory between the cataclysmic upheaval of revolutionary war and the everyday acts of private resistance. Yet these movements "in between" resistance and revolution have remained invisible to scholars of politics, culture, and society. Leading scholars in anthropology, political science, history, sociology, and ethnomusicology examine dissent and direct action in Australia, Brazil, Germany, Colombia, India, Korea, Peru, and the United States and demonstrate the importance of looking beyond these poles of protest to the midways of mobilization.
The contributors are Nancy Abelmann, Sonia Alvarez, Arturo Escobar, Richard Fox, Faye Ginsburg, Ramachandra Guha, Ingrid Monson, Yoshinobu Ota, Orin Starn, and Nathan Stoltzfus.